We bought the '95 in 2004 for $4000. It had A/C, AWD and seating for 8. We had just had our 4th child so needed something that could seat 6 so that threw out most of the cars from the equation. I loved this van but it started to cost money and working under the hood was a real pain due to the engine compartment being so small and the "dog house" in the interior having to be removed to work on anything. Mechanics automatically charge more to work on these types of vehicle since there is a lot of effort to gain access to the parts that need to be replaced. Luckily, I could do a lot of the work my self. For the 5 years we owned it, I put about $1000-1500 each year into it.
Bought it new in Cal in 95 with the California package of most upgrades. Has very good power for acceleration and towing. Always starts and runs in excellent manner. I like the truck type feel as it is built on a truck chassis with rear wheel drive. Bit light in back for driving on ice. Bench seats not comfortable for adult to sit in for long drives.
We haved loved our AWD Astro. It has pulled the camper over the Rockies, forded Jeep trails in the mountains, hauled the dogs, kids, and everything else you can think of. Very versatile. Tight foot room in front, but all vans do that. With AWD and ABS it is the best snow and ice vehicle we have ever had. It still gets 14-19 mpg and the 4.3 is underpowered, but very reliable. Still doesn't burn more than a quart between oil changes at 125K miles. Too bad they plan to discontinue. We keep driving this one because we can't get another set up the same way.
I can't say enough about how good this van has been for me. It has an engine that is snappier than V-8s,when it's only a V-6. At 16-18 mpg it's not very economical, but very good for a van and excellent for the performance it delivers. It has hauled kids, motorcycles, lumber, brush, furniture, rocks and has always, always handled the load with competence, and cleaned up very well afterward. The rear bench seats can be removed in under 3 minutes bu 1 person, leaving enough floor space for an 4x8 sheet of plywood, and using the between-the- seat space I've gotten 11.5-foot things in there. If you can handle the mpg, get this van!
Reliable, roomy, comfortable for kids.Drivers seat a bit small especially left leg room. The main driver, my wife loves it mostly for the great view of the road and the carrying capacity. Dutch doors in the rear nice, however the weatherstripping has to be replaced once every three years. Handling fine for a truck chassis vehicle.